The top trending “how to become” career search was a real estate agent on Google from January 2021 to January 2022.

Desire for More Autonomy Spurred People to Become Real Estate Agents

According to Forbes, “The surge in search popularity for jobs without traditional bosses – such as pilots, physical therapists and realtors – reflected a nationwide desire for more autonomy amid the restrictions of the pandemic.”

The one “dream” job without traditional bosses that has sustained its popularity from pandemic-January 2020 into 2022 is the job of real estate agent.  The New York Times reported that between 2020 and 2021, more people than ever, over 156,000, became realtors.  As of the end of April 2022, the National Association of REALTORS®, America’s largest trade association, reported a total membership of 1,547,699, an increase of +4.25% y/y.

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Is Real Estate REALLY Flexible & Lucrative?

The reality of real estate work is much different than what is seen via popular HGTV and Netflix shows.  Real estate work is work…hard, disciplined work.  The median annual wage for real estate sales agents was $48,340 in May 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  BUT, the salary potential for highly focused and determined real estate agents and, according to Ryan Gorman, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, “knows no boundaries…with some agents joining the top 1% of earners in the US.”

Gorman said that some real estate agents enjoy “…an income of seven or even eight figures, because (those agents) have realized that they can get out of it what they put into it.  There is no one telling you what the limit is to your potential.”

The Future of Real Estate

A primary problem with a career as a real estate agent?  Citing Adfenix, anywhere from 85 to 90% of real estate agents quit the profession within the first five years.  Coldwell Banker’s Gorman told Fortune, “One of the things that happens in our industry is people get licensed, they don’t fine immediate success and they leave because it’s a commission only career.”

Another problem with a career in real estate?  Some industry experts are beginning to say that the nation’s housing market is due to take a hit.  Red-hot sales and red-hot price growth are beginning to wane plus mortgage interest rates are climbing faster than ever before in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat inflation and inflation itself currently stands at a 40-year high.

Gorman, however, believes the housing market and real estate agents working within the residential market will remain strong for years to come due to the basic laws of supply and demand.  Gorman told Fortune, “…even in a rising interest rate environment or a rising inflationary environment or other challenges, I believe that demand today is so far outstripped by supply that even the near term is likely to continue to be strong.  Speaking long term, I believe very deeply in the overall real estate market for sure.”

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Thanks to Fortune.

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